No stopping these collections of Oopsies, Quickies, We-can-improve-its, Semi-CIDUs, Mysteries, and flops? (lucky 13th Series)

But it seems to be offering a moment of inspiration, when he discovers … his own name? (Or his pretend / pun name, no difference.)

It finally turns into a sort of techno-era observational-humor consumer complaint about passwords and online support and automated voice response systems. Stuff we all like to complain about, fine.

But to get there we have to follow a confusing sequence of redefinitions of “cordless” and “wireless” – do these parachutes lack the strings/lines joining the canopy to the harness? Is that what makes them cordless? Oh, you mean automatic deployment of some sort so you don’t use a traditional manual “ripcord”. But the online bit (which is what “wireless” seems to mean here) is an utterly implausible development in the sport.

Y’know, it’s almost there! But there’s nothing at all in the scene to relate to the baseball meaning of bunt, let alone the more specialized sacrifice bunt.


  1. The “sacrifice bundt” doesn’t need a physical connection to baseball, the linguistic similarity is sufficient. The name didn’t come from sports, but rather from religion: it is obviously one of those “burnt offerings” that are mentioned so often in the Bible.

  2. P.S. The “Brevity” panel is simply DOA. Even if “Wine” (or “Wein“) rhymes with “Ein…”, the “stain” doesn’t come even close to “…stein” (in either language). Changing “Albert” to “Albern” (meaning “silly”) would have resulted in an honest appraisal of the humor level, but that would only be understood by German readers.

  3. Somehow I had already at a tender age learned about a (disreputable, scary) organization from an earlier time, called the German-American Bund. I overlooked the difference in the words later when learning that the odd cake pan requiring re-assembly was called a bundt pan.

    Though I don’t know much about the physics and chemistry of cookery, I believe that there have been analyses backing up the tradition that baking a ring-shaped cake promotes good heat distribution and avoids scorching the edges while preventing a soggy undercooked center. Because there is no center.

  4. Glad you ‘splained the Mother Goose one, whever one is right. As the baker of MANY bundt cakes (rum butter bundt cake is our fave), I couldn’t get past the cake itself.

  5. @ Mitch – Being familiar with the mold used to make “Bundt” cakes, I never considered questioning the source of the name. It turns out to be a trademark based on the German word “Bund“, which means “connection”, “association”, or “federation”†. The “T” was added to the word to permit the term to be trademarked (and it also happens to mimic the original German pronunciation of “Bund” better than just the plain “D”).

    P.S. † – In the latter sense, the word is used to refer to the German federal government, and by derivation sometimes also for the German military.

  6. In all these year, I never made the connection . . . now I’ll have to call it something else (and redo all my recipe cards), as my family’s experiences in WWII make me shun anything German . . . maybe Ring Cake would work . . .

  7. You did see that the cake seems to leak a red fluid? Which has very unfortunate connotations if combined with the word sacrifice?

    Or is it just me, having read too many Cthulhu related stories lately and I’m beginning to imagine things and loose my grip on reality?

  8. @ Andréa – I like “ring cake” very much. I wouldn’t avoid “Bundt” because of its heritage (the inventor turns out to be more Scandinavian than German), but I don’t feel the need to promote an ancient trademark.

    P.S. I hope you don’t consider shunning me (because of my “adopted” heritage).

  9. Yeah, that’s why I was so focused on the cake itself . . . who has stuff dripping out of their cakes onto the floor like that? Even when I pour the rum butter sauce over my ring cake, I poke holes in the cake itself to soak it in, and have it on a plate to catch the drippings, so to speak.

  10. @Kilby: I KNEW you were going to say that!! No, I mean more like Volkswagen (I could never understand why my Jewish BFF – last name of COHEN – in high school had one o’ those), Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Audi, actual visits to Germany, and a few other things.

    I remember years ago, I was in Amsterdam with my Grandmother. Someone stopped her on the street to ask for directions (in German). When she finished and the man left, I said, ‘But Omi, the [whatever it was] is the other way.’

    ‘I know,’ she said, ‘but I would never give a German the right directions.’ (One son had been a Nazi and was imprisoned after the War; another [my father] had been in several Nazi slave labor camps; all their Jewish friends had been ‘taken away’).

    Anyway, Mike K., no. I don’t shun you – you should know that. I don’t understand why anyone would live there, but that’s an individual choice, and not everyone has a background/holds a grudge as I do.

  11. Well Andréa, you know there are many “passage of time” factors that come into play and affect our relations to the past.

    And sometimes it is by generation. I recently read a note about how it was basically the grandchildren of those alive at the end of the war who enacted stringent hate-speech laws and anti-Nazification measures.

    A young colleague of mine in the Nineties learned about, and eventually succeeded in enrolling in, one of the reparation / repatriation programs. After qualifying in a couple of ways (including developing fluency in the spoken language!) he received German citizenship, and went to live there for a few years, working in a sponsored semi-academic research program.
    Indeed, my niece (whose family on her father’s side is from Italy and fled due to oppression in the 30s) went to live in Italy for a few months and “reclaimed” Italian citizenship, which at the time was tantamount to EU citizenship and enabled her to continue living and studying in the UK (Which had actually been the point).

  12. “And sometimes it is by generation. I recently read a note about how it was basically the grandchildren of those alive at the end of the war who enacted stringent hate-speech laws and anti-Nazification measures.”

    Yep, that would be me. Interestingly, only the ‘nazi’ of the family has grandchildren; the rest of them have discontinued generations.

  13. *But the online bit (which is what “wireless” seems to mean here) is an utterly implausible development in the sport. *

    And yet… All the utterly implausible developments that have actually happened in this arena, makes the comic seem like only a slight exaggeration to make a point. I mean, who in their right mind would put all their personal data on someone else’s server, just so you could access it over the internet, and not expect something bad to eventually happen? (Put it on your own server, if you must…) Who would have thought you’d put a lock to your door (or to your chastity belt) on-line, where some company you don’t even know controls it, to say nothing of the hackers? Who would have thought it would ever be a good idea to put the controls to your car online? (This latter seems almost too similar to the comic’s “ridiculous” idea…)

    I find the comic silly, but not implausible, just a good (slight) exaggeration to try and make a very valid (and one would have hoped, obvious, but alas…) point.

  14. So, a story apropos my last comment, which must have gone to spam for having too many links in it:

    At one of the incoming orientation QA sessions at my law school, I made a comment about how I was displeased about them abrogating their responsibility and passing email on to Google to handle: they had their own in-house email servers, they were part of a university, there was absolutely no good reason for them to pass off email to a third party, huge corporation; they were lawyers, for cripes sake, they should understand not wanting to give their private, privileged communications over to a company, no matter what they promised. The tech lawyer in charge made sympathetic noises, but her hands were tied, it was a university decision. After the assembly, one of my fellow new 1Ls came up to me to try and “explain” why this new policy was so great; his argument was literally, “But it’s Google!!”
    This was 2008.

  15. Maybe the parachute one needs a geezer tag. I think it’s just a joke on the evolution of phones from having cords, to cordless, to wireless being applied to other things that have cords.

  16. I agree with Kilby regarding Brevity. My first thought was that it sounded closer to Weinstein, as in Harvey, which would not be anything to laugh about.

  17. One more thing. Einstein was a theoretical physicist. I bet he never set foot in a lab since his student days, so why he’d be wearing a lab coat is beyond me – except that’s what some cartoonists think scientists wear.

  18. I was trying to see if the stain forms a ‘2.’ It kind of does if you turn your head and squint and hit yourself with a hammer, but I’m not sure if that’s the intended joke, poorly executed.

  19. Unless the wine stain is supposed to look like something else because “Albert Wine Stain” anagrams to “Wiener is blatant.” Just sayin.

  20. At some point, I think Google changed their motto from “Don’t Be Evil” to “Don’t Be Not Making Money”.

  21. I was wondering about the German national anthem, and I asked a German friend about it. He said “It’s the same as it’s always been.”

    I was surprised about that and said “What! Deutschland Uber Alles?”

    He said “We don’t call it that now.”

    It’s a good tune, having been composed by Joseph Haydn. The first verse kind of got a bad reputation, so now they skip directly to the third. But whenever I hear that tune I always think of certain associations even though Volkswagens don’t bother me.

  22. Markus: “I’m beginning to imagine things and loose my grip on reality?”

    Don’t grip reality — you never know where it’s been.

  23. I’d say any Nazi connection to Volkswagen ended in the mid ’40s with the Allied occupation of the bombed-out factory. After trying to sell or even give away the facility to any of the US or English auto manufacturers that would take it, the British military finally resumed production of the Beetle at the factory.

  24. Really, if you wanted to give up Volkswagens you ought to also give up aspirin and tape recorders.

  25. Disregarding the historical geopolitical moralistic aspects, we should be thankful that the company was renamed “Volkswagen”†, otherwise we would have “Strength Through Joy” cars all over the place.

    P.S. † – Pronounced “folksvagen”.

  26. Oddly, I get ads for virtual tape recorders. They are plug-ins a digital recording system. Supposedly they make your recording sound like it was recorded by a specific machine with a specific tape, like a TEAC A-3340S with Ampex 456 tape, or with Maxell UD 35-90 tape. There’s that much of a difference?

  27. Umm, I am pretty sure that a Bundt pan does not get reassembled. It remains one piece.

    On the other hand, an angelfood cake is baked in a pan which is two pieces. The bottom has a center column/tube attached to it to make the center empty area and the bottom sits in small edges of the piece which is the outside edges of the pan. (Hope that makes sense and is a good explanation). Angelfood cake is a lower fat cake and lighter cake than other cakes and this way the cake be removed from the out part of the pan without deflating the cake and then, if needed, a thin knife can be used to separate the cake from the bottom of the pan (top of the cake) and the inside tube of the pan. Generally the kind of knife will also be needed to go around the inside of the outer section of the pan to separate the cake from same also when starts taking it out of the pan.

    I have used the angelfood cake pan for many different types of cakes (many of which won blue ribbons at the Long Island Fair (for my “Angels above, devils below” cake which was a combination of the two cake types. I have never used a bundt cake pan – but am going by the ones I have seen in stores and what I found online.

  28. Thanks, Meryl, maybe it was an angel food pan I was remembering. One piece was the base plus the vertical central cylinder (producing the central void in the ring cake). The other was the outer wall. But there was something odd about how to put them together.

  29. Angel food cakes are very “sticky” because climbing the wall of the pan is an important part of their rise. It also makes them a bit difficult to extract, hence the two-piece nature.

  30. But the online bit (which is what “wireless” seems to mean here) is an utterly implausible development in the sport.” And we couldn’t have that. Cartoons which rely on implausibilities? Whatever next.

  31. @ Mitch4

    } Well Andréa, you know there are many “passage of time” factors
    } that come into play and affect our relations to the past.

    I don’t believe she knows that at all.

    @ Mark in Boston

    } Really, if you wanted to give up Volkswagens you ought to
    } also give up aspirin and tape recorders.

    You’re acting as if there’s some kind of rational thinking informing Andréa’s attitude.

    I wrote, and discarded, a number of replies to her “let’s keep the hate going for generation after generation after generation, and forever treat Germany as an enemy” post, but none which truly expressed how angry and how sad she made would have been printable.

    I leave this CIDU page wishing I’d never set eyes on it.

  32. @ Mike P – In that case it the proper thing to do would have been to spare us all that last insensitive comment.

  33. This one from “In the Bleachers” is somehow more acceptable by my lights than the parachute one in this posting.

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